If you heeded the advice of the professionals who recommended you start your business before buying a house, we applaud you. Your business is starting to take off, which might be one reason you’re looking at buying a house now.
As a business owner, you have a few needs that are different than those of the typical home buyer.
We put together a checklist for business owners buying a house to outline the process and make it simpler to follow.
The checklist below assumes you’ve already found the home of your dreams in the perfect location (and we hope you have!). Check it out!
Checklist for Business Owners Buying a House
Know your limit – Come up with the most you’ll consider paying for the home, and the price you’d like to start with when you make your offer. Use a site like Zillow to find the prices of comparable homes in the area to get a good starting point.
Ask for extras – If the price of the house still seems a bit high for your budget, ask the seller to throw in extras you like around the house (curtains, appliances, etc.) or that will benefit you (like a home warranty for repairs your first year in the house). Most home owners don’t mind including extras in an effort to make the sale quicker!
Be flexible to get flexibility – Whatever you can bend on, do it. You will see your realtor and seller respond to your flexibility with impressive flexibility of their own and special extras you didn’t expect to receive. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Ask around – You need referrals to find the right lender. Ask around to find the best institution and mortgage specialist to work with. It’s worth it to do your homework–a bad lender will cause you problems throughout the entire process of buying a house.
Figure out the down payment – A standard down payment is 20%, not 15%, of the price of the home (before closing costs). If you don’t pony up at least that amount, you’re looking at paying for private mortgage insurance.
Get no less than 3 quotes – Buying a house is serious business, so don’t go with the first lender you speak to. Get at least 3 quotes from different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Browse for an inspector – Again, ask for referrals from friends or colleagues who’ve already purchased a home in the area. It’s important to find an honest inspector, and not one who is affiliated with repair companies to create and document problems that don’t exist.
Attend the inspection – This is just as much for your own knowledge as it is to ensure everyone stays honest during the inspection. You’ll get to know your house-to-be a bit better as well. You have the added benefit of asking the inspector questions as you go.
Get a written estimate of all issues – If the inspection turns up any issues, get a written estimate of the cost to repair or fix those issues from the inspector or a repairman. You’ll need this list to ask the seller for a price credit off the price of the home in the amount of the repairs you’ll have to fund after buying the house.
Find a quality appraiser – Referrals or an internet search will turn up appraisers in your area that know what they’re doing. Get a quality appraiser to come in and appraise the home you’re buying.
Look at that list of comparable properties – The list of comparable properties that you asked your realtor for earlier is good to look at again. Did your appraisal match the general price range of the other homes in the area? Have there been any major improvements that might have changed the price?
Choose a highly rated title insurance provider – Title insurance covers you and your lender against liens. All providers offer the same type of coverage, so go with the cheapest option of an insurer with a good rating.
The Closing Process
Lock in your interest rate – Whatever your interest rate is, lock it in a month or a month and a half before closing on your home. Interest rates go up over time if you don’t lock in a solid rate.
Ask for a detailed list of closing costs – You want a concrete list of every fee, charge, cost, and credit. Asking for a detailed list of closing costs shows that you’re a savvy business owner who isn’t going to have the wool pulled over their eyes. It also enables you to dispute or question bogus charges.
Do a thorough walk through – Check the house again, down to every plug outlet, appliance, hole in the wall, and plumbing. If there are any issues, ask for a closing credit to cover your cost of fixing them later.
Finally – Sign the contract and move in!